Friday, August 19, 2016

The hardest stage of parenting

Great day so far. It's 8:30 a.m., I haven't showered, wearing the hubby's PJs. My alarm clock this morning was the 2 yr old slipping in spilled soda and crying nonstop for 20 mins because she's a drama queen. This after a middle-of-the-night bedroom shuffle because the 5 yr old wet his bed (we were doing so well!), and right before the 7 yr old peed her pants in the hall closet.

I remember when I was pregnant with Hannah, and I felt like we were at a really good place. Both kids were potty trained, and accidents were few and far between. The kids loved each other and played really well together. I could get so much done each day, because they'd just entertain themselves. We had a great routine, I was getting enough sleep, and the stars seemed to have aligned for us.

Then one day Richard was like, "Oh man. We have to sleep train again. We have to wean. We have to potty train again. I thought those days were behind us!" And I was like, oh yeah. That's true. This has been a nice break, but we can handle anything, right?

I think there's sound justification for having all your kids before you're 30. By the time you're 30, you're just tired. And kids give you a million more things to do.

Anyway, we survived. Sleep training Hannah was an adventure, but we got through it. And a few months ago I felt like we had once again entered that magical place where things work out. Our children have finally figured out how to get themselves breakfast! I get to sleep in for an extra 20 mins every day now! It's glorious. They've also learned how to make their own sandwiches, and can handle nachos with some guidance. And now that Hannah is 2, they all get along and play together and entertain each other most of the day, so I can get a lot done around the house. It's amazing. When we go to the park, everyone can do everything pretty much by themselves and I actually get to sit. When we go to the store, everyone stays by or in the cart so it's not a total nightmare. They're to the point where they can ALL behave like functioning human beings, and it's made my life a lot less stressful, I'll tell you what.

Enter: The Next Hard Part

So. Reuben has always had bladder issues. My theory now is that the signal that his bladder is full doesn't get sent to his brain properly. A few years ago, right after potty training, he started doing this thing where he would just leak a little rather than stopping what he was doing to go potty. We treated it like a behavioral thing, getting mad at him for being negligent and whatnot. Eventually he figured it out, and that's not a problem anymore. At the time he was sleeping in the bedroom right next to the bathroom, and he would get up once or twice every night to go potty, and then either get back in bed or end up sleeping on the couch for the night. We moved him downstairs, and he started wetting the bed a bit. We figured it was because he was so far away from the bathroom, and eventually he got back into his habit of coming up to go potty and then sleeping the rest of the night on the couch. It was kind of an awkward system, but it worked. The bed stayed mostly dry.

Then, just a few months ago, he just started going full-force bedwetter. He was wetting the bed at least 4x/week. Again, we treated it like a behavioral problem and got mad at him, initiated reward systems, took away his favorite bedding because I was sick of washing it, etc. Everything we could think of. And nothing worked. The entire time we lived with my parents he slept on a mattress covered in plastic with no sheets, because he wet the bed every single night. It got really frustrating because it seemed like he just stopped caring. He knew it was wrong, he felt bad about it, and he hated getting punished for him. But he kept doing it.

My dad directed me to an interesting article that I can't find now, but basically Reuben has a fairly common condition where the signal from his bladder doesn't reach his brain to wake him up when his bladder is full. It's completely not his fault, and he can't control it. This combined with the fact that he is a VERY deep sleeper makes for lots of wet bed nights. But the important thing is that his parents' mindset has changed. Instead of being Enforcers, we are now Teammates. We have a common goal, and we work together on it.

Our method is to try to teach him to wake up from his deep sleep. We started waking him up twice a night to go potty, and he's stayed mostly dry every since. There have been a few nights where we were too late or too early getting him up, and missed the opportune moment, and he wet the bed anyway, so it's still been a process of patience. I'm not getting enough sleep. So we got him an alarm clock, and it gets set for 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. every night. We've been using it for about a week, and he's starting to wake up for the 6 a.m. alarm. There was even one night he woke up around 5:30, because HE HAD TO PEE! so that was a happy day. He still sleep straight through the 11 p.m. alarm. When I wake him up to go potty, he doesn't actually wake up. The first several weeks I had to carry him to the bathroom and pull his underwear down for him, and there were several nights where he just cried and moaned and tried to explain his dream world to me. He's improved since then, and most nights he walks to the bathroom himself and pulls down his own pants. But he's basically asleep the whole time, and when I wake him up at 6, when he's much more coherent, he always says "Mom! You only woke me up one time, not two!" He doesn't even remember it happening. So that's my concern - he is so deeply asleep that he can't feel the signals from his bladder. And that's why we're doing this - so he learns to wake up in the middle of the night when he needs to.

Things have been going really well. We finally took the plastic off his bed, and he's been dry for a couple weeks now. So maybe that's why last night upset me so much. I set his alarm, and I was up watching TV waiting for it to go off. It's pretty quiet, so it went off for a few minutes before I heard it. And when I went in to wake him up, he was soaked. It was fine, guys. It's just a thing that happens, and it's easy to deal with. But the plastic was off his bed. So it actually got in the mattress. I pulled out the plastic mattress cover we bought for Rachel and never used, put it on the floor with a sheet on top, and tucked him in there after getting him cleaned up. I figured I'd deal with the mattress in the morning. And honestly, it wasn't a bad thing, because now he was wide awake in the middle of the night for once. Also - I'm wondering if the alarm is having a subconscious conditioning effect, where when he hears it, he pees. I don't know if that's the case, or if the soda at dinner and the fact that he went potty 30 mins before bed instead of 5 mins before bed combined against him. But if the alarm is triggering it, that's a good thing, right?

I love this sweet boy so much. He woke up around 7:30 and just made a beeline right for me for snuggles. I feel like the most important thing through all of this is that he knows that we love him, and that we're on his team. We'll work through this together, even if it means waking him up twice a night until he outgrows it just so he stays dry the whole time. Whatever it takes, we'll get through it. I read another article last night that mentioned the need for consistent peeing throughout the day. Sometimes holding all that urine in throughout the day makes it come out full force at night. So the next move is to get him one of those watches that has an alarm on it so that he'll go potty consistently throughout the day. We'll see if that helps :)

So then. After dealing with middle-of-the-night mattress pee. After dealing with 7 a.m. toddler soda adventures. After breakfast and trying to figure out the plan for the day. I'm getting the baby dressed, who decided today is silly day and lay down backwards, with her head between my knees, waiting for her servant to attend to her wardrobe. Rachel comes running in, stands right in front of me, and says "Mom, I spilled water." She managed to magically "spill water" exactly between her legs.

Here's the thing. Peeing your pants is gross, but it's a thing kids do. I remember being a kid, and seeing kids who peed their pants up until like 5th grade. I remember wetting the bed when I was 7 or 8. I remember just a year ago, taking 8 and 9 yr old scouts to day camp, and there was one kid whose pants were soaked the entire day, despite countless trips to the restroom, and he didn't seem to mind. I get that it's a hard thing for kids to figure out. What I don't get is why she felt the need to lie to me about it. The other thing I don't get is that this is like the 4th time since we moved that this has happened. Is it the move? Is it the excitement of new kids in the neighborhood to play with? She hasn't had an accident for over a year, and then 4 in one month?

My problem is that I react to the wrong thing. I ALWAYS get mad at her for peeing her pants. You're way too old to be doing that, it's disgusting, why can't you drop what you're doing and run to the bathroom when you need to pee, go the first time you feel it, etc. I mean, when we're on road trips and she says she has to pee, I'll ask if she can hold it, and she'll hold it indefinitely for hours. But this morning, when she was hunting for a coat (because apparently 65 degrees is cold), she couldn't even make it down off the bucket she was standing on to run to the bathroom in time. Maybe I just don't get it. I'm not compassionate enough, or something.

But this lying thing...that's absolutely not okay. But every time I try to punish her for lying, she always thinks she's getting punished for peeing her pants because I react so poorly to that. We had a long chat about it today, and I think maybe she got the point. That's just always what I worry about - I yelled at her for two things, and she only internalized my anger for one of the things instead of both, or instead of the one I really should have been focusing on.

Anyway we got through it. She understands that she doesn't get any screen time today because she LIED, not because she peed her pants, and she agreed that that was an appropriate punishment. But THEN there was all this confusion and madness about can we play outside and can we wear our new jackets (never buying them cool clothes before school ever again) and can I go to my new friend's house and meanwhile all I wanted to do was clean up not one, but TWO pee messes, and by the way my sink smells bad because I haven't done dishes for two days.

In my conversation with Rachel I made her a promise. I told her I will never tell her a lie, and asked if she could do the same for me. But there's a lot more to it than that. I think the hardest part of being a human being is not understanding why we're feeling what we're feeling, and why we act the way we do because of those feelings. I had a good conversation with the kids just yesterday about that, because let me tell you I yelled A LOT yesterday and felt awful about it. I sat them down and told them that I was sorry, and that I shouldn't have yelled, and that I was going to try to not yell anymore. We talked about how sometimes you just get so angry that you yell. Just like sometimes you get so sad that you cry, or you get so happy that you laugh, and you just can't control it. Look, I'm 31 years old and I'm just NOW being able to recognize why I feel the way I do when I do. I have to sit for a while and consider my hormones and sleep patterns and goals for the day before I can come to a conclusion on anything. Why was I grumpy this morning? Was it because my kids were naughty? Was it because I was tired? Was I upset over how little I accomplished yesterday? The kids were running around outside, causing problems, and I was standing at the sink, rinsing out a rag to wipe up the carpet pee mess, trying to figure out why I was so grumpy.

And I figured it out, y'all. I am good at cleaning things, but I'm never confident about pee in soft materials. Please tell me I'm not alone. You spray the carpet with cleaner, you spray the mattress with cleaner, you add water to rinse it all down, and you wipe it up, but is that really successful? Did you get it all? Is your brand new house and brand new(ish) mattress just going to stink forever because you can't figure out the best method to remove urine? THAT'S why I was grumpy. I felt like I wasn't going to be able to properly clean stuff. It's not because the mess happened. It's not because kids are hard. It's just simply that I'm not good at something that absolutely has to be done.

I know that sounds totally mundane and weird. But that's why I was upset. So I sat my kids down and didn't tell them a lie. I told them I needed them to play downstairs, where they would be contained and out of my way, so that I could figure out how to clean up the messes that have been made.

And guess what? It worked. I have smart kids, and sometimes they have a smart mom. It's all about being a team, and figuring out how to work with your teammates. Sometimes I get so caught up in the moment of what needs to be done that I just push the kids aside, tell them to go do something else, and then get mad at them when they don't. If I can treat them as teammates, explain things to them properly, and ask them to help, things always work better. I've learned this like a hundred times throughout parenthood, but it still seems like I have to learn it every day.

Yesterday morning was rough. I gave the kids a job to do, and they sucked at it, so I yelled at them a lot. They got it done, but at the end of it all I felt like they would have done just as well, possibly better, if I had left out the yelling bit. I really felt awful about it (obviously, enough to bring it up twice in a somewhat unrelated blog post), and expressed that feeling to Richard when he called later. His comment was "We don't raise them, they raise us, right?" That statement never felt as true as it did right then. I learn so much more from these kids than they learn from me. And each day we work together to be a little better. And sometimes it works.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mini Update

I've been really bad at blogging. Like terrible, really. I've been meaning to catch up for years, and it just hasn't happened. It's one of those things I keep putting off so that I can do it 100% "right", which, let's face it, I'm never going to have time for.

So prepare for several mini posts like this one in the future, because I've decided it's more important to record events when they happen before I forget than it is to record events in order or perfectly.

I just got back from dropping the kids off at tumbling. I'm so glad we decided to put them in! They are loving it, and they are improving their coordination and knowledge of/power over their bodies. I love seeing it. What I don't love is that now Rachel has the confidence to climb up onto the counter to pull dishes out of the cupboard, but not the common sense to keep herself from falling off! I cringed about 50 times in less than a minute today as she got out the plates for lunch and leaned waaaaay over the edge of the counter to hand them to Reuben. Oh children.

Every time I'm getting them ready to go, Reuben throws a fit for one reason or another. It's rarely that he doesn't want to go, but it always happens right as we're heading out the door. I don't want him to develop bad feelings towards tumbling, so I'm always concerned about this. I realized today, though, that he's always able to get over whatever it is by the time we get there, which shows how much he actually does love going, that he's happy once we're there. So again, I'm glad we made this decision. I'm also glad that now that my wild and crazy schedule is changing next month, I was able to work out things with the babysitter so I can still only take one official day off  a week but still keep the kids in tumbling!

As a final note, I just want to mention how funny Hannah's little sense of humor is. She seems very dry thus far - she doesn't smile much, but she obviously thinks certain things are funny. She just cracks me up all day long. I need to make a video of her when she's in a goofy mood, there's just no proper way to explain it otherwise. She's been grumpy for a few months, with various sicknesses and sleep training and then spontaneous binky weaning, and I think she's finally back to normal. Which thrills me :)

And now back to Christmas prep. Hopefully I'll post again soon :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Kids Are Awesome

I don't write as often as I should. This is not a surprise. But last night was so epic that I had to share a few stories about my incredibly entertaining children, who apparently have a promising career ahead of them in waiting on people.

Last night Richard and I hosted his department's Christmas party. We had about 15 people, mostly those he worked with and a few spouses/family members/friends. Everyone brought so many goodies it kind of hurts my eyes to look at. The best treat, however, was the Jelly Bellies.

As you may know, my daughter has a fondness for older men. When we have guests over, she will usually pick a target and sit on his lap and spend the entire evening with him. Her first target was Greg, Richard's predecessor at The Home Depot. She asked him some questions to get to know him, and then started bringing him Jelly Bellies. She asked what his favorite color was, and would run in the kitchen to find a jelly bean in that color to bring to him.

After a while of this she realized there were other people in the room. She went back to the kitchen, returning with a huge handful of Jelly Bellies. She then walked around the room asking each person what their favorite color was and giving them a jelly bean in that color. She had to make multiple trips because her hands are small.

After a few rounds of passing out jelly beans I guess she got hungry herself. I fixed her up a little bowl of goodies and she enjoyed that for about two minutes. Then her next idea was born.

We were all sitting in a circle, chatting away, when here comes Rachel with a bowl of food. She walked up to the person next to me and handed her the bowl, then left. We discussed the event for a minute, trying to decide if she meant for the guest to take the entire bowl or just a handful out of it. Before we reached a conclusion, Rachel was back, with a bowl of goodies for the next person in the circle. It was filled with a different variety than the first bowl. She then proceeded to bring an individualized bowl of snacks to every person in the circle, with one exception.

Apparently as she was handing out Jelly Bellies, Kevin declined her offering on one round. The next round when she came around, she gave him a dirty look and skipped him, without offering anything. So when it came time to pass around the bowls of goodies, she again skipped Kevin. She came back later with a bowl for him, though.

At this point in the evening I guess Rachel had had enough of Greg, and moved on to befriend Chad. She sat in the chair right next to him and asked what kind of goodies he wanted. She ran into the kitchen to get him some treats, but when she came back someone else was sitting next to Chad. She whined for a few minutes until accommodations were made so she could continue sitting next to her new friend.

After a few people headed home, we broke out The Game of Things to be played in partners. We had an odd number of people, so there was one group of three. Rachel joined this group (since Chad was in it), making it four. She sat next to Chad with a DVD wrapped in tissue paper and a pen, and asked him what his name letters are. He carefully spelled his name for her as she wrote it out on the tissue paper. He then helped her write the names of the people around her, and she called over to me to find out what her name letters are.

The bottom line is, the party was a blast. Our kids stayed up way too late, ate way too many jelly beans, spilled way too many cups of cocoa, and won the hearts of all Richard's coworkers. I just love them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Birthday to Rachie Roo!

We've kind of inadvertently started a random tradition in our family...birthdays are not 1 day long, they last the entire month. Sometimes you just can't fit everything you want to do into one day, and that's just fine :) Rachel turned 3 yesterday, but we've already had 3 celebrations and are planning a fourth.

On Sunday we had dinner and cake with my family. The cake is another story...

Richard and I decided to go to the temple on Saturday, and we planned to hit up Cold Stone and Allen's on our way back to get an ice cream cake and groceries for that night (grill party with the Drews) and for Sunday's dinner. We left the house just after two, making it in time for the 2:40 session. Or that's what we thought, anyway. I went my usual route from the locker to the name station, only to find that there was a huge long line stretching in the opposite direction. So that slowed me up just enough to where I almost didn't make it in time for that session. But it didn't even matter...apparently a ward had taken that entire session's capacity, so we waited for the session at 3. This would normally be fine, but I was nervous about Reuben wanting to be nursed around 5 and I wasn't sure we'd make it back by then. I calmed down and told myself that I was doing what I should be, and God would take care of Reuben :) Which was good, because there were more hurdles, as it turned out. While I was in the name line, I talked to a couple of sister missionaries, and found out that they were headed to Japan on Monday. They said their entire district came to the temple one last time before they headed out. Pretty cool. So when we got into the room for the session, I saw about 10-20 Japanese boys and my heart just melted. They all had their headsets on, listening to the session in Japanese, and we actually had to pause the session twice because some of them forgot some key parts and had to have them done over again. So that slowed us up a little bit too. Another event played into our lateness, that being that for some reason the sisters had left gaps when filling in the seats, and the sweet old officiator lady started filling them in with ME. So I was in seat number 2. The men's side didn't have this problem, so Richard was in the 4th or 5th row back, behind all the cute little Japanese boys. So when it came time to move into the Celestial Room, I was the second one in. I sat near the men's entrance and waited for Richard. Usually the men come in in a pretty steady stream, about one every minute or so. These guys came in one every five minutes. As it turns out, the Japanese elders didn't speak any English, and believe it or not there were not any temple workers who spoke Japanese. So getting them through took a lot longer than normal. But then Richard finally made it, and it was wonderful. I love being in the Celestial Room with my husband more than just about anything in the world. We had to cut our time short, however, as it was already 5:20 and we had our errands to run. I called Aja once we got out of the temple and found everything to be hunky dory at home, so I just quit worrying and we went about our errands. I was a little worried that Cold Stone wouldn't have the cake we were looking for, and we'd have to stop at Baskin Robbins and possibly Wal-mart to find what we wanted, but Cold Stone had the perfect cake, and it wasn't as terribly expensive as we were expecting. So off we went to home, and the rest of the evening was fantastic.

So back to Sunday. We made burgers and fries for Rachel's birthday dinner, figuring she loves fries and we had all these burgers waiting to be grilled. We also made a fruit salad, and I sliced and plated a lovely dish of tomatoes. That's what ended up in front of Rachel, and that's about all she ate for dinner lol. I love that she loves tomatoes :) After dinner we brought out the cake with candles and everything, and she knew exactly what to do. Then my parents brought in the gift they had bought for her, a tricycle with a purple helmet, and we went outside to play with that for a while until we all froze. So that was birthday celebration number 1.

On her birthday I tried to explain things to her and get her excited, but there wasn't much we could do that day because the car was in the shop and I wouldn't be able to get it because I worked that afternoon. Mornings tend to be our out-and-about time. But I tried to get her excited about being three, and we were planning to give her our gift that evening. Trying to make the day special for her turned out to be really difficult because she was soooooo naughty! I wanted to spoil her all day long, but she was so rotten that she ended up being punished most of the day. Whatever. You can't choose the day your kids behave, right? Anyway we had a yummy dinner that night as well, and then I suggested we have ice cream for dessert. Then we gave Rachel her gift from us, an easel with a white board on one side and a chalk board (which we found out doesn't work) on the other. She LOVES it. Unfortunately she drew all over her arms today with the marker and lost her privileges for a while, but she'll have another chance to enjoy it later.

So today was her real birthday celebration. The car was finished while I was working on Monday, so I planned to go for a run in the morning with the kids to pick it up and then we'd just go straight to the mall from there. It's exactly two miles from our house to the car shop, so I weaved a little to make it three. I was nervous that I wouldn't make it the whole way, because my legs had become weak sauce over the winter, but I did it! And as a bonus, Reuben slept the whole way. The poor guy has been sick, and he took about 5 naps today. I think he'll finally feel better in the morning. So we got to the car and loaded up to go to the mall. The first thing we did when we got there was head over to the train stop, but the train was out, so we played on the playground for a few minutes until it arrived. Then Rachel got to ride on the "chugga choo choo train" and she loved it. She's been obsessed with trains for a couple weeks, and since I couldn't find her a purple one like she wanted, I figured going for a ride in one would be the next best thing. Reuben liked it too :)

After the train ride we went upstairs for some lunch, and Rachel requested we get pizza. Their kids meals are huge, but she ate almost the entire slice and enjoyed her juice. She kept saying "This is a really yummy lunch!" which made me happy :) I wanted to take the kids back to the play area, but we were nearing nap time and hadn't finished our festivities of the day yet, so we we took off. I then took her to a hair salon and she had her first ever hair cut. She looks so cute! Her hair has been kind of difficult to manage lately, not only because of the scissors incident 6 months ago but because it's never EVER been cut, so she still has her stringy baby hairs and everything is different lengths. Well, not anymore. She also has a small amount of bangs, but those will grow out soon enough. She really enjoyed it. And after that I got her an ice cream cone at DQ and wow, I don't think she was expecting anything that fantastic.

I know she's only 3, but I hope this day was fun for her. I hope she remembers it for a while, and I hope she felt special. We'll be heading up to Logan this weekend to have celebration number 4 with Richard's family, and that will be extra fun for her because she'll get to see her cousins.

I sure love my girl :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Playing Like a Child

I've never been a huge fan of snow games. I hate snowball fights, I've never been downhill skiing, and I'm usually the last person to suggest we go sledding. In addition to that, I think we as adults, and parents especially, can sometimes tend to rush on to the next activity, the next item on the to-do list, and don't always stop to enjoy the moment. Kids are good at that - enjoying everything as it's happening. Your kid will never be the first one to say "You know, I'm done. Let's go back inside." I'm always the one telling Rachel "Ok, one more time then we're going in." It's not really that we're in a rush to go anywhere or do anything, I've just had my fun. I've become a person who only has to try things one time. If we go sledding, I'm happy to go down one time and then hold the baby so everyone else can have fun. If we go snow-mobiling, I'm happy to make one lap around the field and then sit on the sidelines while everyone else takes their turn. I don't need another turn, and I don't really want one.

Rachel has been begging me for weeks to go sledding. I've been glad for the excuse of no snow to not go. I kept telling her "We'll go as soon as there's snow." So the first day we had two inches she started begging again. I started getting sad to tell her that there wasn't enough to go sledding, and I began hoping that it would snow for a few days and stick so she could go play in it. I even started trying to figure out a schedule where I'd be able to take her out while Reuben slept, or while someone else was home to hold him so we could go out and play.

On Thursday, it snowed. A lot! I was so excited. I haven't been so excited about snow for years, especially not to play in it, but I was excited that Rachel would be able to. On Friday, Richard mentioned that he wanted to come home early so he could take Rachel sledding over at the neighbor's house. That made me so happy, and I was excited for the fun time they would have. Well, that didn't end up happening, but it was already a plan in my mind. It didn't work out for Friday, since I had errands to run in the morning and work in the afternoon, but I made it a plan for Saturday.

The second I got off work in the morning, I started bundling kids up to go play outside. I made sure we were all snug and warm, myself the most. I'm always the first to get cold, and I wanted to make sure Rachel could have as much fun as possible. I moby-ed Reuben to my front and got all our gloves on, and out we went. I showed Rachel where we would make a path up the hill, and where we would sled down. I figured I could go down with her one time, then she could go by herself after that. So I and my infant lumbered onto the sled, and Rachel sat in front of us. We went down the first time and I thought, gee that was fun. But I'm done now. That's all I needed.

I carried the sled to the top of the hill and Rachel got on and went down by herself about a million times. It was fun to walk down the hill and get the sled to the top while she climbed up herself, but I started to get that itch to be done. I wasn't cold, I wasn't tired, and Rachel was having a blast, but I didn't need to do it again. But Rachel did. Every time she got to the bottom of the hill she would turn around and I would say "Look how far you went!" and she'd repeat it, then say "Let's do it again!" How can you argue with that? So I kept climbing down the hill to bring the sled back to the top.

As I walked, I watched my tiny daughter and saw how much fun she was having. I realized how cooped up she'd been all winter, and how much she has always loved being outside. I remembered that she had spent a fair amount of time in front of the TV that morning, and knew she'd want to watch something after her nap. And I knew that no one would be hungry for at least another hour. So I decided to let my little girl have her fun, and determined to stay out much longer.

After a few more times of watching Rachel zoom down the hill, making the trail a little longer each time, I realized something I didn't expect: I wanted to go down again. I saw how much fun Rachel was having, and I wanted to have that much fun too. Even though I had 18 lbs of Reuben strapped to my front, big bulky gloves, and no snow boots, I wanted to play in the snow. So I stooped down to sit on the sled and Rachel climbed on in front of me. We zoomed down the hill, even farther than she had gone, then all tumbled off to climb up the hill again. It was so fun! We went down together again and again and again, and each trip up the hill I could see and feel Rachel's excitement, and it mingled with my own.

Sometimes adults need to play like a child, to remember that life was meant to be enjoyed, not endured. Our lives are busy, and there's always so much more to get done. But it's not all going to happen today, is it? So why not take some time out to zoom down a hill for an hour.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Good Morning!

Ah....what a great morning.

Small successes are what make my days doable. Last night Richard and I were in bed before 10, which is something we've been trying to do for a few weeks now. We're getting old, which makes it easier, because our bodies are done functioning after about 9:30. The bad news is I took a 2 hr nap yesterday, so I couldn't fall asleep until after 11. At any rate, we were both up before 6:30 which means I showered AND did my hair AND ate breakfast all before the kids got up! THAT is a good morning, in my book. Now I'm not stressed, and I'll be able to get a lot done while Reuben takes his morning nap.

I discovered this morning that I am Reuben's morning coffee. He grumbles incoherently with his eyes closed, trying to get to the side of the bed where I feed him, until I do so and then he finally wakes up. I just laughed this morning. I picked him up and he leaned waaaaay over, pointing with his head where he wanted to go. He cracks me up. I swear he's ready to be older than he is. He seems to get frustrated when his body can't figure out how to do what he wants it to. But he is now creeping quite well and getting better at pulling himself up to standing. He's also been sick for a while, though, and that gets sad. He's to the mucus clearing stage, which means he'll cough A LOT and when that doesn't work he ends up throwing up :( He's started falling in love with different people, which is fun. When he sees my mom or Aja, Beau, and Eli he actually reaches for them now, which is great for me because he's been incredibly clingy for the past 3 months or so. I sure love that boy.

After getting Reuben dressed, we walked into the living room to find that Rachel's light was on. I knocked on her door and she hissed at me. She's been hissing lately, it's goofy. I knocked again and she said "Come in!" so I did. She was sitting in one of her toy boxes with her Kermit hat on, and when she saw me she jumped up and yelled "I'm poopy!!" which is perfect because we might start potty training this week. While I changed her diaper she asked me about what I was wearing, and I told her it was my boom box shirt. She said "You wear that shirt with a sweater?", which I certainly was. Then she had me switch packages of wipes, because the other one was "squishy". She saw a heart on the wipe package and began telling me about the heart chocolates she ate for Valentine's Day and how they were all gone. Then she changed the subject to that of purple granola cereal, which she ran upstairs to find. She just came back down dragging a bag of cereal, explaining that the purple granola cereal is all gone but she needs a bowl and a spoon. Oh man, I love my kids :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Listing Memories

When I was in college I had a post-it stuck to the wall by my bed. Each night as I climbed into bed to read my scriptures, I would write on the post-it words that would remind me of funny things that had happened that day. Then later, during the summer or whenever I had time away from school to write in my journal, I would pull out the list and write out the stories. I've noticed lately that I haven't had time to sprint to the computer whenever my kids do something I want to remember, so I've been trying the post-it technique for the past couple weeks. I don't do it every day, and I'm sure I'm still missing tons of great stories, but it's a start :) So here are some stories from lately.

29 January 2012
We spent this weekend in Logan. Richard's brother Ben went through the temple in preparation to serve his mission, and we spent a wonderful morning with him at the temple while our kids wreaked havoc at Danny and Marilyn's house. Later that afternoon, EVERYONE came over and we had a yummy meal and good company and spent the evening playing games and watching movies. The entire time Richard was on a roll spouting off ridiculous jokes. He just kept GOING and I punched him every time. I wish I could remember some of them, but man I love my husband :)

Before our trip, I put an app on our iPod for Rachel that helps her learn letters. She loves it, and she is constantly coming up to me asking if she can play the "star one" because the icon has a star on it. At one point during our stay in Logan she asked for it, and I let her play for a few minutes. Her cousin Sara came in and showed a great interest in what she was doing. These two are a year apart, and for most of their lives have had a hard time getting along, but they seemed to hit a magic spot this weekend and suddenly became best friends. Sara asked nicely if she could play the letter game, and Rachel handed her the iPod. They took turns like that, each one doing one part of the game, for a good 20 minutes. It was one of the sweetest things I've seen lately. They spent the rest of the day playing together, and whenever Rachel got sad about something (which often happens when we're on a trip and she misses her nap time) Sara would come find her and ask if she wanted to go play barbies or watch a show with her. It's fun to be a mom and see my kids making friends.

Marilyn's kids sure love her. It's so fun to watch them trying to be with her all the time, and it's neat to see how lovingly she treats them. Right now she's still nursing her youngest, and he is SUPER clingy. He always wants her to hold him, and now that he can walk that means he's constantly running up to her and hugging her legs, begging to be picked up. Well, when we get together there's usually a lot of women in the kitchen preparing food or feeding babies, and this was the case this weekend. So when Ammon came running in to find his mommy to pick him up, he ended up just grabbing the first legs he saw, which were mine. I looked down and said "Hey, buddy!" He looked up, gave me a weird look, then ran across the room to find his real mommy. Funny kid :)

Sometimes adults stay up way too late and eat way too much eclair cake, and then lots of stupid things become really funny at 10:30 pm. I was browsing facebook while Richard set up the game we were going to play and came across this awesome picture and could not stop laughing:

My poor sweet Rachel really has a hard time when we get together with family. She's finally to the age where she can play with the other kids, but she's still young enough and so tiny that they don't always want to play with her. She also gets cranky in the evening if she doesn't get her nap, so everything is a big deal and she ends up crying over little offenses. I heard her downstairs crying and went to see what I could do to help her feel better. I don't remember what the problem was, but while we were down there we found some Hulk hands Jake got for Christmas a few years ago. I picked them up along with my daughter and we went upstairs to play with them where I could see her. She put the hands on and started knocking people over, and she loved it. It made me so happy to see her having fun after such a rough day :)

My boy is needy. This is not a secret. He doesn't always do well when we travel, so nights are usually hard. Sometimes naptimes are equally hard. This was one of those trips. We spent the morning at the temple, which meant leaving him with a sitter, and he did better than expected but still wouldn't let me put him down once we got back. When it was time for his afternoon nap he actually went down okay, but he was sleeping in Emilee's room and she didn't know that. So she went in to grab something and he woke up. I figured he was up for the day, but he was so groggy and grumpy that I thought I'd try putting him back down. Didn't work. So I figured I'd just hold him for a while and see how he would do. Well...he fell asleep! In a crowded, noisy living room filled with kids, babies, and a movie playing. I ended up falling asleep with him on my chest, which we haven't done since he was brand new. It was a lovely afternoon :)

One more funny story and then I think I'll wrap up for the night. We left for the temple a little later than expected, and it ended up being a day that everyone in Cache Valley was there. We parked on the street and then scurried up the hill to the entrance. Danny was coming from the parking lot and started running when he saw us. This made his pants hike up, and we could see that he was doing the sneaky white socks move. Richard commented on it, and Danny lifted his pants even higher so we could see the entirety of both socks.

Sometimes after I write down these memories it seems like they were only funny to me. But you know what? It's my blog, so if they aren't funny to you, you don't have to read them :)

So...good night!